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Buying a computer for uni/college/school work is a big investment, so it's important to make sure you're getting the best laptop for students possible. This means considering everything from your budget, the screen size and resolution to the central processing unit (sounds complicated, but is v important!) and its software.

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Here are eight questions to ask yourself before making the all important purchase.

1.Is the student laptop within your budget?

    A quick glance at the PC World website shows that laptops range from £129.99 to over £4,000 (!), so you can definitely find one that suits your bank balance - providing you stick to what you can afford. You can find budget laptops with full HD displays, solid keyboards and sizeable hard drives for under £300, or more powerful programmes with impressive graphics and fast processors for upwards of £2,000.

    If you need video editing software for your course, you may have to spend more, compared with someone who might just need Miscrosoft Word for writing essays.

    Best student laptops under £300

    Best student laptops under £1000.00

    2. Is your student laptop the right size?

    Consider what you want the laptop for: is it for whacking in your handbag and pulling out at lectures, or mainly for keeping at your desk to write essays on from your bedroom? If it's the former, consider a lighter, more compact option, of if it's the latter, go for something with a slightly larger screen so you're not straining your eyes.

    3. How long is the student laptop's battery life?

    A biggie for students who are constantly on the go and can't risk their laptop running out on them mid-way through a seminar, Laptopmag tested a number of different options and found that the Dell XPS 13 9360 had 15 hours charge, while Lenovo ThinkPad range faired similarly, as did certain Acer models. Apple MacBook Pro has 11 hours of battery, compared with the Samsung Notebook 9's 12 hours.

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    Best student laptops under £700

    4. Has your student laptop got the right software?

    It's important to go for a model that has all the vital components you need: can you edit photos on it if you need to? Does it have Adobe? Will you be able to download Word? What about video editing? Consider whether Apple's software (iMovie, iPhoto, Garage Band etc) weighs up against Microsoft's (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc), and how much it would cost to download these, as well as how powerful the processor is, which will give you an idea of how many tasks it can carry out at once.

    GET FOR FREE 365 Education is a collection of services including Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) that is available for free to teachers who are currently working at an academic institution and to students who are currently attending an academic institution. It also allows free unlimited cloud storage, and some schools even allow installation on up to five devices.

    BUY NOW Office 365 University is also an option if you're not eligible for the free version. It costs £59.99 for 4 years, allows you to install all the usual Microsoft applications including Office, plus online storage and more.

    This woman became paralysed due to stress after working 80 hour weeks
    > Getty Images

    BUY NOW Adobe offer students a 65% discount on over 20 applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, providing you're enrolled at university or college. It'll still cost you £16.24 a month, but it's better than the equivalent of £49.94, right?

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    5. What technical stuff do you need your student laptop to have?

    It's easy to glaze over like a Krispy Kreme when someone starts talking about dual processors, RAM, HD-displays etc etc, but it's worth paying a biiiit of notice to it, because it basically outlines how powerful your laptop is, and how much multitasking it can do at once.

    As PC World explain, the central processing uni (CPU)

    "is responsible for running the operating system and every application you use. A speedier CPU means faster-running programs, but usually it also means lower battery life and a more expensive laptop".

    The graphics refer to the quality of everything you see on screen - PC World say most laptops are available with a choice between integrated graphics (from Intel or AMD) or a discrete GPU - and RAM the amount of memory and storage space. You should also consider the display (the quality of the picture you see) and connectivity - how easily it connects to wireless networks around you.

    Laptop mag have a great guide to what all the technical things *actually* mean, recommending the below CPUs depending on your usage:

    • Workstation/Gaming -

      Intel Core i5 / i7 HQ Series

    • Everyday Productivity w/ a Boost -

      Intel Core i7 U Series

    • Everyday Productivity -

      Intel Core i5 U Series

    • Super Thin (Mediocre Performance ) -

      Intel Core m / Core i5 / i7 Y Series

    • Budget Laptops, Low Performance

      - Intel Celeron, Pentium

    • Super Cheap, Worst Performance -

      Intel Atom Series

      Best student laptops under £1000

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      6. Do they offer a student discount?

      Seeing as you're a student looking for a laptop, it would be silly not to look into potential discounts or incentives different brands have to encourage you to buy their product. Apple and Windows both offer money off through UNiDAYS (10%), which could save you up to £270.

      7. Which student laptops have the best storage?

      Back at it again with the technical questions, but if the laptop doesn't have enough storage to see you through 15 essays and a dissertation, it's probably not worth having.

      CNET say increasingly common solid state drives (SSD), sometimes called flash drives, are usually found in 128 or 256GB sizes as backup add-ons, because most of us now store music and photos in the cloud or other web-based apps, which means we need less storage.

      Currys say 500GB can hold 8,330 hours of digital music/160,000 digital photos/500 hours of digital video/ 125 DVD-quality movies, while 1TB can hold 16,660 hours of digital music/320,000 digital photos/1,000 hours of digital video/250 DVD-quality movies.

      Best student laptops for big budgets

      8. Is the screen big enough for Netflix binges?

      Of course Netflix is important, which is why screen resolution is something you should take into consideration too. In basic terms, when the number of pixels is mentioned, that refers to the number of lines that run horizontally and vertically across the screen. The higher the number, the better the screen resolution - so 1920 x 1080 is better than 1366 x 76, for example.

      This translates into HD (1366 x 768), HD+ (1600 x 900) and FHD (1920 x 1080), but it's worth noting the size of the screen doesn't translate directly to the amount of pixels - you can have a big screen with less pixels, or a smaller screen with better resolution.

      Related Story > 6 ways to find the best student bank account for you 6 ways to find the best student bank account Related Story > 8 useful organisational skills every student should know 8 organisational skills every student should know

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